The reason Obama avoided saying this Monday likely stems from the fact that the units deployed in Iraq after August 31st 2010 will all be fully functional combat units. The only difference is that we will now call them by a different name, in which the word “combat” no longer appears. They are now termed “advise and assist brigades” by the administration, and the press dutifully reported this new term in their stories.So expect 'No Change' from "The O-bomb-Ya administration" and you won't be disappointed - With the US already #1 world weapons seller, Obama seeks to expand American arms exports by "trimming" the approval process.
No wonder the press missed it. They can’t be expected to take dictation and fact-check it too.
Normally, misleading text and headlines are so commonplace they just don’t bother one like they used to. But this is Iraq. And I’m worried that the American public may be misled into thinking that all we’ll have over there a month from now are a few clerks and supply officers. . . . The public might wrongly perceive from a false-fact like “all combat troops gone” that the light they’re seeing at the end of this horrific tunnel is fairly strong, when maybe it’s not that strong and it’s pretty far away.
What the administration has done (and the press would know this if they’d simply do their collective job) is rebrand the Iraqi mission with an new tag-line (“New Dawn”), and re-label six fully-combat-capable brigades with new, kinder and gentler titles. That’s basically the story. Here’s the February memo from Gates to CENTCOM giving the go-ahead to roll-out the kinder/gentler new mission tag-line that we’ll all going to hear so much about.
The New Dawn mission tagline and associated public relations effort doesn’t fit well with the word “combat”–and actually the American people have had their fill of the term too. So no accident that the administration has simply renamed six (or so) brigade combat teams as “advise and assist” brigades. The units may have received minor personnel changes, but otherwise are in no way different from existing combat brigades in Iraq. Indeed, some or maybe all of them are already deployed and functional under our current “Operation Iraqi Freedom” mission. The only thing that has changed is the name. [In Full]
WASHINGTON — The United States is currently the world biggest weapons supplier — holding 30 per cent of the market — but the Obama administration has begun modifying export control regulations in hopes of enlarging the U.S. market share, according to U.S. officials.Meanwhile president Obama's job approval rating reaches a new low (41%), and much of that rating is due to the wars.
President Barack Obama already has taken the first steps by tucking new language into the Iran sanctions bill signed in early July. His aides are now compiling the "munitions list," which regulates the sale of military items.
The administration's stated reason for the changes is to simplify the sale of weapons to U.S. allies, but potential spinoffs include generating business for the U.S. defense industry, creating jobs and contributing to Obama's drive to double U.S. exports by 2015. [More @ McClatchy]
Welcome to Your America: Elderly Man Robs Bank to Get Back Into Jail
Peter Barry Lawrence pointed a BB gun at a bank teller and was surprised at the amount of bravado that surged through him. He threatened to shoot anyone who followed him out.
“I felt like Clint Eastwood or Charles Bronson,” he said. “There was a sudden rush of adrenaline.”
Lawrence, 71, made his getaway in his wheelchair, with $2,000 in cash on his lap. He was headed back to his rented room at the nearby San Diego Downtown Lodge, but he took a meandering route down Seventh Avenue until the police caught up with him five minutes later.
And just like that, the rush was over. But that was all part of the plan.
The way Lawrence tells it, Monday’s robbery of a Chase Bank was just a desperate ploy to get back behind bars, where he believes he will receive better medical care than he has been able to obtain on his own. [In Full]
The “new normal”...and if you don't believe 'Lefty Rags' see this article at the Financial Times: The crisis of middle-class America.
More than one in five Americans at risk of destitution
More than one in five Americans in 2009 suffered a household income loss of 25 percent or more over the previous year, according to a new report sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and entitled “Economic Security at Risk.” The report documents a steady increase in economic insecurity since the 1960s, and concludes that annual income losses of 25 percent or greater increased by 49.9 percent between 1985 and 2009.
“Putting this trend in terms of population,” the report states, “approximately 46 million Americans were counted as insecure in 2007, up from 28 million in 1985.” The head of the research team that prepared the report, Yale University Professor Jacob Hacker, told an interviewer, “What we’re seeing, basically, is what we’re calling ‘the new normal.’ We’re slowly ratcheting up this level of economic insecurity.”
The research group has devised what it calls the Economic Security Index (ESI), which measures the share of Americans in a given year who experience at least a 25 percent decline in their available household income and who lack a financial safety net to replace the lost income. Such a sudden income drop—usually due to the loss of employment, high medical expenses, or a combination of the two—often leaves people facing destitution.
The report does not include 2010, when long-term joblessness has become endemic. The ESI for this year will doubtless be considerably higher than for 2009... [In Full]
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